Pak schoolgirl Malala's condition has improved, say doctors

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London, Oct 20: The condition of Malala Yousufzai, the 15-year-old Pakistani girl whom the Taliban tried to kill on Oct 9, has improved and she is even able to stand on her legs with help from others.

According to doctors at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham where she is undergoing treatment, Malala can make "pretty much a full recovery" but it will take months and she will have to undergo more than one surgery.

The hospital's medical director Dave Rosser said: "Malala is still showing some signs of infection... in the bullet track which is our key source of concern. It is clear that she is not out of the woods yet. Having said that, she is doing very well. In fact, she was standing with some help for the first time this morning when I went in to see her."

Eleven days ago, two Taliban extremists shot at Malala in the head and neck when she was returning from school. The Taliban wanted to eliminate her as she had been leading a campaign for girls' education in the Swat valley near the Pakistan-Afghanistan border.

On Oct 15, Malala was brought in an air ambulance to Birmingham as specialists at the Queen Elizabeth Hospital are considered to be among the best in the world at treating the kind of injuries which she has sustained.

A bullet grazed the edge of Malala's brain, Dr Rosser told newspersons yesterday. "Certainly, if you are talking a couple of inches more central, then it is almost certainly an unsurvivable injury," he noted.

Malala was extremely lucky that the bullet did not go through her skull after hitting her left eyebrow. It moved beneath the skin down to her jaw and then to the left shoulder blade.

The thinnest bone of Malala's skull was shattered by the impact and some fragments consequently pierced her brain. Since it is still swollen, doctors have not been able to ascertain the full extent of brain injury. The soft tissues around Malala's jaw and neck were also damaged by the bullet.

Dr Rosser said that Malala regained consciousness on Oct 16. "She seems to have understood why she is no longer in Pakistan and what has happened to her." Malala is "communicating very freely -- she is writing" and can now move her arms and legs, he added.

OneIndia News

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